N.S. RCMP close 22-year-old case; rule death of Arlene McLean not a homicide

RCMP in Nova Scotia have closed a 22-year-old case on Wednesday and have determined the death of Arlene McLean was not a homicide.

"Although the timeline of this investigation created some significant investigative challenges, investigators believe that Ms. McLean’s disappearance was not criminal and the investigation has been completed," read a release from RCMP on Wednesday.

McLean was 28 when she vanished on Sept. 8, 1999.

She told her common-law husband she was stepping out around 8:30 p.m., and that she wouldn't be gone long.

McLean then took the family car, a 1993 green Elantra, and both vanished without a trace.

The case languished for years in Nova Scotia's Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes Program.

In October 2020, the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team (URT) located two submerged vehicles in tidal water near Rainbow Haven Beach when they were conducting an unrelated search.

Both vehicles matched the make of McLean's vehicle.

"At that time, we explored the first of the two and we determined that it was unrelated," said Cpl. Troy Murray, with the Nova Scotia RCMP, during an interview Wednesday on CTV News at Six. "A number of factors played a role in getting back in the water and finally, in April of 2021, we were able to get back to that location and determine that the second of the two vehicles was in fact related to this investigation."

In a RCMP news release in July, police confirmed human remains had been discovered. In September, it was confirmed by the province's medical examiner that the remains were McLean's.